Flow regimes, depositional conditions and location of the sources for pyroclastic flows are difficult to study by conventional methods1,2. Magnetic fabric techniques have the advantage that they can be undertaken rapidly and precisely, the measurement of a single sample taking only a few minutes3. This study was of samples collected from the Quaternary Fiumicello Formation of surge deposits in the Phlegrean Fields near Naples. These samples had originally been collected for standard palaeomagnetic studies, but it was decided to investigate their magnetic fabric as the areas had been recently studied geologically with the objective of determining their source4. The magnetic parameters in the pyroclastic surge deposit were found to be identical to those found in undeformed sediments and we conclude that the controlling conditions must be similar. This suggests that magnetic fabrics may be used as a fast, first-order method of determining both the source area for such flows and their conditions of formation.
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Incoronato, A., Addison, F., Tarling, D. et al. Magnetic fabric investigations of pyroclastic deposits from Phlegrean Fields, southern Italy. Nature 306, 461–463 (1983). https://doi.org/10.1038/306461a0
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